In the eyes of the law, former cop Erich Fritz isn’t a rapist. Victim Melissa McMillan says otherwise.
“You raped me,” she said in a victim impact statement at his sentencing hearing on Monday, according to MLive. “You knew I was highly intoxicated yet you used that as a selfish opportunity.”
Fritz pleaded guilty in June to unlawful imprisonment. In exchange, other charges were dropped: first-degree criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping.
This stems from a July 9, 2016 traffic stop in Covert Township, Minnesota. Fritz arrested the driver for being intoxicated behind the wheel. McMillan, also inebriated, was the passenger. The officer took advantage of her vulnerability, took her to a hotel, and raped her, prosecutors claimed.
McMillan, who described her memories of that night as “blurry,” told the court he brought her to three hotels in order to find a room, and she woke up to find him on top of her.
“I feel you did not get the full punishment you deserve but your friends, family, the public and most importantly you will know what you did,” she told Fritz at the sentencing. “You will never be a police officer again and for that I’m grateful.”
McMillan reported suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. The incident hurt her children, too, she said.
At the sentencing hearing, Fritz apologized for his friend, family, former co-workers at the Covert Township Police Department “who I embarrassed,” local people, and McMillan.
“I never should have offered her a hotel room in the first place,” he said. “I should have never put her in that situation.”
Van Buren County Circuit Court Judge Kathleen M. Brickley said he used his position to break the law. “You betrayed her,” she said. “You betrayed your officers.”
Fritz will spend a year in jail, and five years on probation.
[Screengrab via MLive]